How to Handle a Party Wall Notice?

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A party wall is a shared wall between two adjacent buildings or properties. It is typically built on the property line separating the two properties and is used to divide the space between them. Party walls may also be used for structural support or to separate different units within a multi-unit building. The rights and responsibilities of the owners of the properties on either side of a party wall are typically defined by local building codes and laws.

Understanding Party Wall Act 1996

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 is a law in England and Wales that governs the construction, alteration, and maintenance of party walls and other boundaries between properties. The act lays out the rights and responsibilities of the property owners on either side of a party wall, as well as the procedures for resolving disputes that may arise. The Act applies when work is carried out on an existing party wall or structure, or when new walls or structures are built at or astride the boundary of two or more properties.

It is important to note that the North London party wall Act applies only to England and Wales and in other countries different laws will apply.

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What Do I Do If I Have Been Served a Party Wall Notice?

If you have been served a party wall notice, there are several steps you should take:

  • Review the notice: Carefully read and understand the notice that has been served to you. It should provide information about the proposed work and the timeframe for when it will be carried out.
  • Consult with your surveyor: If you have an appointed surveyor, or you need to appoint one, consult with them about the proposed work and the party wall notice. Your surveyor will be able to advise you on your rights and responsibilities under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 and can help you understand the details of the proposed work.
  • Respond to the notice: Within 14 days of receiving the notice, you should respond in writing to the person who served the notice. You can either agree to the proposed work or raise any objections you may have. If you do raise objections, your surveyor can help you to negotiate a resolution.
  • Schedule an inspection: Your surveyor may need to inspect the party wall or structure to assess the condition and suitability for the proposed work.
  • Agree on a schedule of condition: Before the work begins, your surveyor may document the condition of the party wall or structure in a schedule of condition. This will provide a record of the condition of the wall or structure before the work begins and will be used to determine whether any damage was caused as a result of the work.
  • Monitor the work: It is important to keep an eye on the work being carried out on the party wall or structure to ensure that it is in compliance with the notice and that no damage is being caused to your property.
  • Keep records: Keep records of all correspondence, notices, and agreements related to the party wall notice and the proposed work. This will be helpful in case of any disputes that may arise in the future.

Remember that it is always best to consult with a professional surveyor to ensure that your rights are protected and that the proposed work is carried out in compliance with the Party Wall etc. Act 1996.